Revera Report on Ageism

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ong>Reveraong> ong>Reportong>

on Ageism


Contents

About the ong>Reveraong> ong>Reportong> 5

ong>Reveraong> ong>Reportong> on Ageism: Key Results 7

Ageism in Canada 7

• Two Unique Views on Aging 12

• We Need to Make a Change 15

Recommendations 16


About the ong>Reveraong> ong>Reportong>

The ong>Reveraong> ong>Reportong> on Ageism probed Canadians aged 18-32

(Gen Y), 33-45 (Gen X), 46-65 (Boomers), 66-74 (Seniors) and

75+ (Older Seniors) to find out their attitudes about aging and

to gauge their level of awareness and experience with ageism.

The goals of the research are multifaceted: to draw attention to

the misconceptions and stereotypes surrounding older people;

to inform and advance dialogue around the issue of ageism; to

give voice to the views of Canadians who embrace the positive

qualities of being older; and to demonstrate that there are

many ways people live their lives to the fullest at every stage

of their life.

The research was completed online from August 24th to

September 4th, 2012 using Leger Marketing’s online panel,

LegerWeb, with a sample of 1,501 Canadians. A probability

sample of the same size would yield a margin of error of 2.5 per

cent, 19 times out of 20. The ong>Reveraong> ong>Reportong> on Ageism is

one in a series of reports issued by ong>Reveraong> exploring different

topics relevant to the aging experience of Canadian seniors.

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5


ong>Reveraong> ong>Reportong> on Ageism: Key Results

Ageism in Canada

Despite an aging population, ageism is widespread in Canada. It is the most

tolerated form of social prejudice when compared to gender– or race-based

discrimination.

• Six-in-ten (63%) seniors 66 years of age and older say they have been treated unfairly

or differently because of their age

• One-in-three (35%) Canadians admit they have treated someone differently because

of their age; this statistic goes as high as 43% for Gen X and 42% for Gen Y

• Half (51%) of Canadians say ageism is the most tolerated social prejudice when compared

to gender- or race-based discrimination

• Eight-in-ten (79%) Canadians agree that seniors 75 and older are seen as less

important and are more often ignored than younger generations in society

• Seven-in-ten (71%) agree that Canadian society values younger generations more

than older generations

• One-in-five (21%) Canadians say older Canadians are a burden on society

Older Canadians are viewed as less

important and are more often ignored

than when they were younger

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Which prejudice do you think is the

most tolerated in Canada?

Sources of age discrimination seniors

66 and older experience

Ageism does not discriminate.

It comes in many forms and from

many different sources.

Canadian society values younger

generations more than older generations

• Age discrimination towards seniors 66

and older comes primarily from younger

people (56%). More than one-in-four

(27%) seniors say they’ve experienced

age discrimination from government

and more than one-third (34%) from

healthcare professionals and the

healthcare system

• Nearly nine-in-ten seniors 66 and older

who encountered ageism from the

government, attribute it to programs and

policies that do not take into account the

needs of older people

• Nearly eight-in-ten seniors 66 and

older who reported age discrimination in

healthcare, said a healthcare professional

had dismissed their complaints as an

inevitable sign of aging

• The three most common forms of

age discrimination faced by Canadian

seniors include: being ignored or treated

as though they are invisible (41%);

being treated like they have nothing to

contribute (38%); and the assumption

that they are incompetent (27%)

Types of discrimination seniors

encounter from government

Types of discrimination seniors encounter from

the healthcare system

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Types of discrimination faced

by Canadian seniors

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What does aging mean to Canadians

18 years of age and older?

Two Unique Views on Aging

Older Canadians are much more positive about aging than

younger generations, underscoring the need to challenge

ageist attitudes.

Canadians overall have a negative perception of aging.

• 89 per cent of Canadians associate aging with something negative like not

being able to get around easily, losing independence or being alone

• Gen Y and Gen X are the most likely to hold a negative perception of

aging; they are the least likely to think people 75 and older are pleasant,

independent or healthy, yet the most likely to describe them as grumpy.

A further one-in-three describe them as dependent, sick or frail

How do you view Canadians 75 years of age and older?

The older you get, the more

optimistic you are about aging.

On a scale from 1 to 10, where 1 is extremely pessimistic and

10 is extremely optimistic, what is your outlook on aging?

• While the majority of seniors 66 and older

are optimistic about aging, the opposite is

true of younger generations, specifically

Gen Y’s and Gen X’s

• Canadians 66 and older are the most

likely to associate aging with something

positive like having more time to do things

they love and more time to spend with

those they care about, as well as being

wiser and more self-assured

• Seniors 66 and older are the most likely

to say “age is just a number” (41%) and

approximately two-in-five say “you never

stop living life to the fullest” (36%) and

“the best is yet to come” (40%)

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Canadians believe you never stop living life to the fullest

We Need to Make a Change

Change doesn’t happen in isolation: individuals,

organizations and policy makers all have a role to

play in building an age-inclusive Canada.

According to Canadians, the top three changes

suggested to combat age discrimination are:

• Invest in technologies that can help older people live

independently for longer

• Raise awareness about ageism so that it is as socially

unacceptable as other ‘isms’, like sexism and racism

• Provide more government funding of healthcare solutions

that address the specific needs of an aging population

Canadians say age is just a number

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Recommendations

It’s clear that if we don’t address ageism as a societal issue now, it

will compound and become more entrenched as our population

ages. Change however, won’t happen overnight, and it is not the

exclusive responsibility of any one group. In collaboration and

consultation with older people, individuals, organizations and policy

makers all have a role to play in building an age-inclusive society.

As individuals and as a society, we must shine a light on the issue of ageism. We

need to recognize, call out and challenge the negative stereotypes and assumptions

about aging and older people. Rather than make assumptions about an individual’s

abilities or quality of life based on their age, we need to be open-minded, view

aging with optimism and reach out to older adults as vibrant, important and valued

contributors to society.

Organizations need to raise awareness of ageism and be active contributors to

ending it. As employers, the value and significant contributions older workers can

and do make should not be overlooked. We also need to better understand and meet

the diverse needs of older consumers – after all, they encompass a broad age range,

and the needs of a 65-year-old may be quite different to those of an 85-year-old.

Policy makers, both government and non-governmental agencies, need to

collaborate and plan for an age-inclusive Canada. Building on the work that

governments are already doing, there needs to be continued focus on developing

policies that enable people of all ages to have the choices they need to live their

lives to the fullest.

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About ong>Reveraong> Inc.

ong>Reveraong> is a leading provider of seniors’ accommodation, care and

services; built on a 50-year history of helping seniors live life to

the fullest. Our 28,500 dedicated employees continually strive to

serve a diverse group of clients and to offer choices to meet their

individual preferences. With 227 sites across Canada and parts of

the U.S., we work to enhance lives in our retirement communities,

long term care homes, U.S. nursing and rehab centres and

through the provision of home health services. Canadian-owned

and operated, ong>Reveraong> serves approximately 28,000 clients every

day, with the core values of respect, integrity, compassion and

excellence at the heart of our business. Find out more about ong>Reveraong>

at www.reveraliving.com, on facebook.com/ong>Reveraong>.Inc or on

Twitter @ong>Reveraong>_Inc.

About The International

Federation on Ageing

The International Federation on Ageing (IFA) is an international,

non-governmental organization and point of global connection

to experts and expertise in the field of ageing. We believe in

generating positive change for older people through helping to

shape and influence effective age-related and senior policies and

practice. For more information about the IFA visit www.ifa-fiv.org.

For more information on

Age is More please visit

www.AgeIsMore.com

18 REVERA REPORT ON AGEISM REPRINTED OCTOBER 2014

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